DemandCon: Why Storytelling Drives Demand Generation [Video]


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Jeff Ernst would like you to know that people don’t give a hoot about your product. They care about why you bothered to build it, package it and sell it.

Ernst, a Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, who spends the majority of his time talking to CMOs, dedicated his entire presentation at DemandCon today dispelling what he considers common myths of marketing. One that really hit a chord: People are naturally moved by your company’s products.

“People don’t buy into your product. They buy into your approach to solving their problem,” Ernst intoned. Too often, marketers miss the mark by putting all their resources into the benefits of a product, rather than the passion and ingenuity that fueled the creation of that product in the first place.

Ernst remedy for this? More storytelling.

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Storytelling, Ernst argued, is what moves a company from just another seller in the marketplace, to a compelling thought leader; an organization that is driving change and challenging long-held conventions. Stories interest buyers because people are more curious about the Why than the What or the How.

As an example of this, Ernst pointed to As a CRM solution, Salesforce has a relatively simple product position to sell. But that’s not their marketing strategy. “If they were to communicate like most people do, they’d say ‘We make a CRM solution and how we do it is we make it in the cloud,” Ernst said. “They say in everything we do we believe in totally transforming the notion of how business application software is built, conceived and delivered.”

See how one lulls you to sleep and the other sparks your interest?

Similar to this would Simon Sinek‘s TEDx talk about how great leader inspire people.

According to Sinek, people line up for Apple products because of the passion that brand embodies for change and inventiveness. The Wright brothers cultivated a following because of their passion to soar among the clouds, rather than elevating their own egos.

For Ernst, demand generation starts with great storytelling. In fact, storytelling is what transforms content marketing into thought leadership. So the next time you explain to someone what you do, maybe start with why you do it.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jesse Noyes
Jesse came to Eloqua from the newsroom trenches. As Managing Editor, it's his job to find the hot topics and compelling stories throughout the marketing world. He started his career at the Boston Herald and the Boston Business Journal before moving west of his native New England. When he's not sifting through data or conducting interviews, you can find him cycling around sunny Austin, TX.


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